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Dear Giannis...






Dear Giannis,


I’m sorry. I got so caught up in Chris Paul making it to the Finals and the game 1 performance, that I counted you out. I thought this was his time, that you still had enough years ahead of you. However, this is your time. CP3 may never fulfil his championship dreams, but last night, I watched you ascend to another level of greatness. Then, you sat in that chair and cried.


Then I remembered.


I was there that night you came off the bench in Philly and instantly became a fan. In fact, I’ve traveled to see you play each season, and was set to attend game 1 of the Finals, but the sticker price caused a friend to back off. Still, I found myself rooting for the Suns somehow. Since I was a kid, I have always felt like the team that beat my team had to win.


Yeah, I haven’t put away all childish things.


You reminded me why you were considered the Most Improved Player in 2017, then became back-to-back MVP, and picked up a Defensive Player of the Year award along the way. Because you have put in the work. That skinny rookie I sat a few rows behind is now the Finals MVP.


I didn’t think this was the team that would take you to the promised land. Jrue Holiday didn’t look like he was the missing piece everyone thought he was. Khris Middleton was too hot and cold. It just didn’t seem like it was going to happen. Then, they started playing better, Brooke Lopez stepped up, Portis came to play every night.


But it was you.


You put this team on your shoulders and carried them with you into NBA history. The way you closed out the series should silence all of the haters that have said you’re a Robin or need to develop post moves, shoot the three better, make more free throws. I know your game will continue to evolve, you’ve proven you put the work in, proving that you’re the best player in the world at this moment.


Yeah, I doubted you. For the first time since that stupid flagrant at the end of the Bulls series in 2015. I thought you would crack under the pressure, that the failures of previous seasons would creep up on you. I was wrong. I apologize.


Congratulations!


I will resume my “Yearly Giannis” on ring night.


Al-Lateef